Waitangi Weekend ahead, Burt Munro Challenge on horizon south of the South Island


The combination of the coming Waitangi Weekend and the Burt Munro motorcycling Challenge in Invercargill from next week could see large volumes of traffic on South Island roads in coming days, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

People can be better prepared for the Waitangi Weekend peak periods by checking the updated holiday planning tool before leaving home:  journeys.nzta.govt.nz/waitangi-day-weekend-2021(external link)

“Build in plenty of coffee and break stops, enjoy the journey and take care around motorcyclists and all other road users,” says Peter Brown, Waka Kotahi National Journey Manager (Acting). “Passing when there is so much traffic on the highways will probably not get you there any faster and may just increase everyone’s stress.” 

The heaviest South Island traffic will be around Christchurch and Timaru, Kaikōura, Blenheim, Nelson and Motueka and Queenstown and Wanaka over the Waitangi Weekend. Motorcyclists may also take the inland highways past the hydro lakes and smaller towns like Tekapo, Geraldine and Fairlie. 

Burt Munro Challenge will bring thousands of people to Southland

The annual Southland Burt Munro Challenge for motorcyclists is running from 10-14 February, Wednesday to Sunday, with thousands of people expected to converge on Invercargill from this weekend. 

“We think most of the travel will be on Monday and Tuesday, 8 and 9 February, making it a busier than usual Waitangi Weekend,” says Mr Brown.

“Please need to keep an eye out for motorcyclists during the week,” says Mr Brown. “Some will be travelling in groups so everyone’s care is appreciated.”

Competitors and spectators are coming from all over the country(external link). Last year around 2,000 motorcyclists registered with thousands more travelling as  spectators.

https://www.burtmunrochallenge.co.nz/(external link) 

Tips for safe driving and riding this long weekend: 

  • Check your vehicle before you head off eg tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights, Warrant of Fitness and Registration.
  • Take extra care because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
  • Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or amount of traffic. Even in summer, there can be floods and high winds.
  • Keep alert and share the driving if you can. Take regular breaks.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Be patient: Overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.
  • Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there’s no need to rush. 


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